By Dave Downie
It’s the end of a week where things seem to have been gathering pace behind the scenes at Everton with an eye on next season and beyond.
It has been reported that a move for PSV Technical Director Marcel Brands is in the offing if not already well underway and links to Paulo Fonseca and Marco Silva have been reinforced by a report in this morning’s Mirror that the club are willing to bring an end to Sam Allardyce’s tenure, twelve months short of his contract expiring.
Paper talk, of course, but it’s emphatically clear that major changes are needed at Everton this summer, and there’s also a strong argument to suggest that whilst Farhad Moshiri is considering what surely has to be a substantial reconfiguration of his senior management team, there’s little reason not to begin that process before the end of the current campaign.
Whilst Allardyce maintains his delusion that it’s a small, vocal minority calling for his head, a vast number of fans simply cannot face the prospect of another year of the current disconnect between themselves and their club and manager. Searching for the manager’s name on your social media of choice tells a story of a fan base that feels another season of Allardyce’s dampening of expectations and almost spite towards the club’s support would cause immeasurable damage.
The fans themselves were a credit to the club for the majority of the Merseyside derby in creating an atmosphere that has sadly become a relic of Goodison Park in recent years. But as far as the remainder of the season goes, a final five games against Swansea, Newcastle, Huddersfield, Southampton and West Ham and nothing of real note to play for, will mean a relatively fruitless stagger towards the comfort of summer and a chance to reflect on a truly abysmal 10 months.
However, if the intention is to replace Allardyce and restructure the club’s hierarchy including Steve Walsh’s role should Marcel Brands arrive, then why not start now rather than waste valuable time?
The repair work Everton have to do this summer is beyond any they’ve had to undertake in the past. As well as potentially substantial changes to the management, players and staff, the club has to establish an identity that will take it forward to ensure the sometimes unbelievable comments and events of this season, don’t threaten to happen again – all this ahead of a year when construction of a new stadium is hoped to have commenced.
Getting to work on that extensive list of priorities could and should start now. Even an announcement that Sam Allardyce and his team are to part company with the club would be a welcome start, if only for the peace of mind of a currently apathetic fanbase, if nothing else.
The appalling mis-management of this season from start to finish has been alarming to say the least. Farhad Moshiri will have learned plenty from the people he’s entrusted with Everton’s recruitment and on-field concerns and they should be the points addressed immediately.
Reaching for the chequebook has proven to be futile in attempting to push the club to the next level, and whilst financial clout is such a powerful tool in modern football, it’s scattergun deployment has shown to have worsened the team’s capabilities.
With that in mind, Moshiri may well be much more reluctant to so openly provide the same amounts of money that have mostly been wasted thus far. His attention should now be on the system in which players are scouted, recruited and integrated into an outfit that knows its purpose – a purpose set out by a forward thinking manager.
There is no reason that can’t begin now, starting with putting an end to the Allardyce nightmare.